What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Communications

So I spent a moment yesterday in 'The Mall" (Poughkeepsie Galleria), no not reliving junior high glory days, but looking into some communication options.  I went to the AT&T booth and hung out with Jesse and Kevin (hoping I got the names right - not my strength!).  They were great, and with lots of good information and interest in my trek.  I went to AT&T because that's who I use right now and also because they use sim cards/the types of phones I could use abroad.

Their solution - which seemed pretty ideal - was the i phone.  I can basically do everything I want to do with it from wireless keyboard to messaging to email and blog posting, pictures, video, etc.  All seems quite simple.  And I could get the old one for $99 or the new one for $199, if I go onto my parents plan (I'm currently on the pay as you go/highway robbery plan).  I would have to change my current number though, but wouldn't pay anything more than I am now to be on their plan, and my communications issue would be solved for about $130 plus tax (keyboard and phone), or $230.  the newer phone has a better camera and a flash, unfortunately possibly both needed and worth the extra layout.   I had been budgeting about 200 each for phone and netbook (at a possible family discount), and was pretty aware that was an incredibly optimistic estimate.

So it seems ideal, BUT, can the i phone work in Sierra Leone?  They were saying that it requires a data package, but what is the service there like?  The country has plenty of mobile phone service, but how advanced is that specific service?  Would an i phone work on it and to what extent of coverage?  The one company Zain offers Blackberry Enterprise services, but I didn't see anything about an i phone.  Another service, Africell has a pretty poor web page and I didn't get far.  Comium markets mobile internet (using GPRS), but still no word on the i phone.  I'll have to contact them and see where that gets me.  But it still is encouraging that I should be able to get the keyboard and simply use the internet over the phone for all my needs.  It may have to be with a blackberry though or something like that, but we shall see.  What I had hear about blackberries was that they were not great for international stuff.  Maybe I was wrong...  ;)

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